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September 23, 2012

UN Day of Peace: Dr Migiro Urges Cessation of Conflicts, Protection Of Children

As the world yesterday marked the International Day of Peace, a leading voice for UN causes in the country has urged the world community to cease hostilities around the globe.

Former UN Deputy Secretary General Dr Asha-Rose Migiro delivered the message of peace yesterday in Dar es Salaam at an event organized by the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) to mark the day.

Countries around the world and UN agencies in particular marked the Day of Peace yesterday amid various armed conflicts raging on in various places in the world.

In East and Central Africa, Kenyan armed forces are battling Islamist groups in Somalis while in Uganda, the army is locked in a bush search and destroy mission against elusive kidnapping and killing ground around Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

In the DR Congo, the situation is even worse as numerous rebel groups are fighting the government. However, M23 is a prominent group wreaking havoc in eastern parts of the vastly mineral rich central African state.

During the event, Dr Migiro asked people everywhere to observe a minute of silence to honor the victims, those who lost their lives and those who survived but must now cope with trauma and pain.

Armed conflicts around the world attack the pillars of sustainable development, she said, identifying the root causes of many conflicts as directly related to or fuelled by valuable natural resources, such as diamonds, gold, oil, timber and water, the UN veteran underlined.

She emphasized that addressing the ownership, control and management of natural resources is crucial to maintaining security and restoring the economy in post-conflict countries.

Good natural resource management can play a central role in building sustainable peace in post-conflict societies, she stated, noting that natural resources must be used for the benefit of the society, not to finance wars.

She also advised governments to undertake urgent and strategic action to prevent violence against young children, pointing out that children should be in school, not recruited into armies.

“Give high priority to children in the budget and national policy agenda,” she urged, elaborating further that to strengthen communication strategies governments should make known initiatives that work and can build violence-free societies.

This includes supporting families and communities to guarantee effective legal protection of young children from all forms of violence, she stated.

She went on saying that national budgets should focus on building human capacity, not deadly weapons. She called on combatants around the world to find peaceful solutions to those conflicts.

The International Day of Peace offers people globally a shared date to think about how, individually, they can contribute to ensuring that natural resources are managed in a sustainable manner, thus reducing  potential for disputes and paving the way to a sustainable future.

The theme of this year’s observance is “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future.” On the International Day of Peace, the United Nations calls for a complete cessation of hostilities around the world.

The event which was held at Karimjee Hall included students from different schools, the United Nations Information Center (UNIC), the UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Alberic Kacou, Roots and Shoots, Global Network of Religions for Children(GNRC) and Right to Play NGOs.

Dr Migiro is next Monday expected to inaugurate the East African Local Government Forum in Arusha region. An EAC public relations official said that the two day meeting will be closed by EAC Secretary General Dr Richard Sezibera.

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